Summer is well underway around here. I’m trying something new, a series of blog posts!!! Summer is my favorite season so I thought this would be the best time to start. Follow along on my Summertime Fun Series to get ideas on how to keep your kids active, entertained and keeping your mama brain (and wallet) happy. I’m kicking off this series with some easy ways to keep your kids accountable and on a routine. Let’s go!!
I’m so ready for all that summer brings: pools, hiking, warm weather, s’mores around a bonfire, sleeping in, and the list goes on and on. I love summer, there’s no doubt about that, but sometimes it can be hard, as can anything.
Summer time can bring extra meltdowns, tantrums, lack of manners and/or respect because, lets face it, there is little to no routine or schedule unless I, the mother, make one. So this is where I land getting my heart, mind and body ready to set boundaries and start the summer off right with a morning routine to set my kids up for success for the rest of the day, and summer!!
I’ve tried many strategies in the past and I’m excited to be trying a new strategy this summer. It comes from one of my most favorite bloggers Jordan Page from funcheaporfree.com.
So what is this system to keep the kids in check, you ask? Well it’s pretty simple, a chore chart. You can make them any way you want but I downloaded the free printable from Jordan’s website and filled in the blanks with the things I want my kids to do. I did snag quite a few ideas from her but I have been adjusting things as we’ve moved into our summer and have had a chance to put the charts to work.
So here’s how it works, I have 3 kids (ages 9,6 &2) and each one, minus my 2 year old, has their summer chore chart clipboard with a list of things they need to accomplish before ANY screen time or playdates can happen. If they are determined enough, it shouldn’t take them long to finish the list, but lets be honest here, kids are never determined to do chores. Am I right?!
I try to make chore time fun by putting on music the kids can dance to while cleaning and tidying. For the most part it works, I do have to redirect them at times but I’d rather do that than have them be whining and complaining the whole time, which makes it take twice as long as it should have taken.
There’s a total of 3 clipboards each child has to refer to. Now, before you think I’m crazy and say that’s a lot of clipboards for a kid to keep track of, not all of the clipboards are specifically for each kid. Two of the clipboards have things for everyone in the family to do, so it gets broken up into smaller chunks of things to get done. So, the 2nd clipboard has the House Zones. Fun right? I love this idea of zones and having a person designated to a certain zone, or area, of the house. I swear, Jordan is freaking amazing because she comes up with these genius ideas to keep her kids, and mine, on track. She is my spirit animal!
The 3rd clipboard is for the whole family and it’s just random areas of the house, inside and outside, that we can clean up together when there’s some extra time our day. This one doesn’t have to be done everyday, for me it’s going to be more of a once to twice a week deal. Summer is supposed to be about fun and spontaneity so why add extra chores and to do lists to my kids. That’s no fun at all, plus I don’t want my kids to hate me all summer long.
My initial goal was to just keep us on somewhat of a schedule for the summer but now that we’ve been using our charts and seeing which kids do the work and which put it off it has quickly become more about earning the right to have screens or a play date with friends. My middle child has given the most push back about the chart. She hasn’t quite gotten the concept of doing your work first thing so you have the rest of the day to play. Instead she wants to play, play, play and put off work till there’s no time left in the day to do it. She’s also a lot like me and gets distracted very easily. So we’re working on doing chunks of the chart throughout the day but she still doesn’t get screen time until it’s completely finished.
Another thing I love about this chore charts is that it’s my way of keeping track of allowances. My kids mark off the day of the week when they’ve completed their chart and at the end of the week I know exactly how much to pay them for the work they’ve done. It’s great! I don’t have to remember who did what and on what day it was done. It’s all on the chart.
I hope you liked this easy tip to use on your kids this summer. Check back next week for my next Summertime Fun Series post!!